Joined: Aug. 5, 2011
Happily married to Katie for over 22 years; father of 5 wonderful children; and father in law to one more. (And much more handsome than the picture makes it seem.) I was born and raised in the Netherlands. Went to college in Steubenville, OH, and have been moving between Europe and America ever since. For studies, work, etc. Right now, we are happily ensconced in West Chester, PA, where the town is lively, the surroundings beautiful, the friends friendly, and the cycling club very active. I’m looking forward to many fun and fruitful conversations about things that matter.
Nov. 17 at 12:12pm | Comments: 18 | Most recent comment: Nov. 26 at 7:14pm
In a comment under my last post, Freda asks what John Henry Newman might have thought about the recent Synod on the Family in Rome. Specifically, she worries that some of the suggestions made by some of the bishops represent not developments of what came before, but radical departures from it. I will say a few things about Newman’s distinction between developments and corruptions of doctrine, but the thrust of what follows is a critique of the...
Oct. 28 at 2:10pm | Comments: 6 | Most recent comment: Nov. 17 at 10:42pm
In response to a question after a recent lecture, Archbishop Chaput said about the Synod on the Family that “the public image that came across was one of confusion” and that “confusion is of the devil”. I think I understand what he means by this, and to some extent I agree. However, there's another, more positive way of looking at it. Not all confusion is of the devil. Some confusion is even salutary—a...
Sep. 20 at 5:50am | Comments: 13 | Most recent comment: Sep. 22 at 8:45pm
Central to Dietrich von Hildebrand's philosophy of the heart is the idea of "intentionality" or object-directedness. Emotions, he holds, are not just subjective psychological experiences, but meaningful responses—to persons, events or situations. That is why they can be appropriate or inappropriate, reasonable or unreasonable. Like thoughts, emotions have an objective measure, a standard to which they can and should conform. Introduced to this idea of “intentionality” by von Hildebrand more than 25 years ago, I've always associated...
Jul. 31 at 12:45pm | Comments: 3 | Most recent comment: Aug. 1 at 8:38am
I finished Deresiewicz’ delightful book A Jane Austen Education, which I first mentioned a few days ago. Before putting it back on the shelf, I want to mention another of its insights—one that tracks closely with what I have learned from von Hildebrand about the heart as "the real self" (see his The Heart, chapter 8). It has to do with the need to investigate our feelings. For Jane Austen the most obvious responsibility we have...
Jul. 25 at 1:37pm | Comments: 2 | Most recent comment: Jul. 25 at 9:56pm
I picked up A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz yesterday, and already learned something new. It has to do with the extremely talkative Miss Bates, from Emma. Miss Bates has always struck me as pitiable and ridiculous, a character thrown into the novel largely for comic effect. But Deresiewicz has a different angle. He argues that Miss Bates lives "the novel's highest lesson of all": that it is the little things of everyday—the sorts of things talked...
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